Review - Smokin’ Aces


Alicia Keys in Smokin' Aces

Smokin': Alicia Keys in Smokin' Aces

 

 

For anyone who gets confused between Ben Affleck and Ryan Reynolds, Joe (Narc) Carnahan’s latest feast of bang-bang macho will be very bewildering indeed, since they’re both in it. But then bewilderment seems to be what Smokin’ Aces is about. The hip-feast is built around Jeremy Piven, playing Buddy “Aces” Israel, a Las Vegas showman and stool pigeon whose decision to turn state’s evidence has signed his death warrant. Enter just about everybody else – either part of his close-knit retinue, part of the FBI team trying to protect him, one of the mob out to get him, or one of the other guys who also, confusingly, seem out to get him. Girls too, not just guys, since it’s Alicia Keys and Taraji Henson – a faintly lesbionic duo – who get some of the best of the weapons-assist screentime. It’s a busy, touchingly old-fashioned drama – the whiplash Guy Ritchie camera trickery, the timewasting, jivetalking Tarantino dialogue. If you’re watching at home the subtitles make things a lot more easy to follow, though the plot is still verging on the impenetrable – someone’s been reading Raymond Chandler, obviously. And how about Andy Garcia and Ray Liotta as cops? Carnahan is clearly having a laugh. I entirely enjoyed it. But then I was watching this live-action cartoon with one eye shut.

© Steve Morrissey 2006

 

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Smokin’ Aces

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imdb poster Smokin’ Aces
Smokin’ Aces (2006)
Run time: 108 min
Rating: 6.6
Genres: Action | Crime | Drama
Director: Joe Carnahan
Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Ray Liotta, Joseph Ruskin
Trivia: When a Las Vegas performer-turned-snitch named Buddy Israel decides to turn state’s evidence and testify against the mob, it seems that a whole lot of people would like to make sure he’s no longer breathing.
Storyline Mob boss Primo Sparazza has taken out a hefty contract on Buddy “Aces” Israel, a sleazy magician who has agreed to turn state’s evidence against the Vegas mob. The FBI, sensing a chance to use this small-time con to bring down big-target Sparazza, places Aces into protective custody-under the supervision of two agents dispatched to Aces’ Lake Tahoe hideout. When the word of the price on Aces’ head spreads into the community of ex-cons and cons-to-be, it entices bounty hunters, thugs-for-hire, deadly vixens and double-crossing mobsters to join in the hunt. With all eyes on Tahoe, this rogues’ gallery collides in a comic race to hit the jackpot and rub out Aces. Written by Anthony Pereyra {hypersonic91@yahoo.com}
Plot Keywords: lake, fbi, magician, fbi agent, casino
Box Office Budget: $17,000,000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend: $14,638,755 (USA) (26 January 2007)
Gross: $35,635,046 (USA) (9 March 2007)